When a celebrity faces a lawsuit, a settlement often happens not because of the actual potential liability but because of the harm that could be done if certain facts make their way to the public eye.
As to the lawsuit filed against former Jets quarterback Brett Favre by a pair of massage therapists, Favre was able to keep most of the potentially embarrassing facts private.
The folks at Deadspin went to the courthouse in New York City to peruse the file, and they learned that Favre’s lawyers managed to shield most of the potentially embarrassing information from the media. That happens via what the law calls a “protective order,” which keeps certain information private during the pre-trial process.
Ultimately, any trial of a civil lawsuit happens in an open courtroom, barring circumstances involving for example children or other legally-protected individual. For Favre, a lawsuit would have unfolded without any protections, which means the dirty laundry would have been flapping around for everyone to see.
That may be why he settled the case. As we explained back in 2011 after the lawsuit was filed, the case seemed to be weak. But even a weak case can make the defendant look very bad if certain facts supporting it — or remotely related to it — are disclosed publicly.
As to the Jets, Deadspin points out that most of the claims against the team were dismissed in 2012. Which means that the Jets may have contributed little to any settlement. The bulk of the money possibly came from Favre.
No one is saying anything about the resolution. That’s typical in cases like this; when the defendant pays, the defendant insists on confidentiality.
For Favre, confidentiality seemed to be a keep aspect of his approach to the case.